SNEAK PEEK … SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CALIF.) has penned an essay for ELLE about being the stepmother to her husband’s two young daughters. Among other things, she wrote about missing a high school graduation for Senate work. The essay, which went live at 5 a.m.: “Sen. Kamala Harris on Being a Stepmom”
NEW … DEBATE DETAILS … The first Democratic primary debate — being aired by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo — will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27. It will air between 9 and 11 p.m. Zach Montellaro’s explainer on the 2020 Democratic debate qualifications
TARIFFS HAVE GONE UP! … NYT’S ANA SWANSON and ALAN RAPPEPORT: “President Trump escalated his trade war with China on Friday morning, raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and taking steps to tax nearly all of China’s imports as punishment for what he said was Beijing’s attempt to ‘renegotiate’ a trade deal.
“Mr. Trump’s decision to proceed with the tariff increase came after a pivotal round of trade talks in Washington on Thursday night failed to produce an agreement to forestall the higher levies. The White House said talks would resume again on Friday but it remains uncertain whether the two sides can bridge the differences that have arisen over the past week. … In a statement on Friday, China’s Ministry of Commerce said that the government ‘deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures.’ It didn’t specify what those countermeasures might be.” NYT
— N.B., via WaPo’s David Lynch and Damian Paletta: “Because the higher tariffs apply only to goods that leave China on Friday — not shipments already approaching American shores — officials still have time to work out a last-minute solution.” WaPo
— ASIAN MARKETS BOUNCE … FT: “Chinese stocks finished higher despite the impasse. China’s CSI 300 index of major stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen closed up 3.6 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1 per cent higher. China’s onshore renminbi, which is permitted to trade within 2 per cent on either side of a daily midpoint set by China’s central bank, strengthened by 0.3 per cent against the dollar.” FT
— NANCY COOK and BEN WHITE: “Trump gambles with economy on China showdown as 2020 looms”
JUST CAN’T QUIT HIM … 2020 DEMOCRATS are hardly talking about BOB MUELLER any more. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL has said the Mueller report is the last word in the investigation, and argued the case is closed.
THERE’S JUST ONE PERSON who can’t quit MUELLER: President DONALD TRUMP. In one news conference Thursday, he said the Mueller report was “the Bible,” and he called it “beautiful” and “perfect.” He regularly tweets about the special counsel and, when it’s convenient, seems to take his report as the last word on the 2016 election.
IT’S ALMOST AS IF Trump feels like the report represents a victory in his long-running war against elites. And it’s almost — almost — like he misses the “witch hunt” he railed against for 22 months.
Good Friday morning.
FOR YOUR RADAR — AP/DUBAI: “B-52 bombers ordered by the White House to deploy to the Persian Gulf to counter unspecified threats from Iran have arrived at a major American air base in Qatar, the U.S. Air Force acknowledged Friday.” AP
BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE: “Burr holds firm despite GOP anger over Don Jr. subpoena”: “Richard Burr faces intense pressure from Republicans to drop his subpoena of President Donald Trump’s eldest son and quickly wrap up the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe.
“But despite a day facing attacks from the highest rungs of party leadership, Burr is unmoved, according to colleagues in both parties. … Burr, known for his independent streak, appeared happy to ignore the political storm he had fueled. ‘I told you I’m not going to chat right now. I’m in the middle of something,’ Burr said as he made his way to lunch in the Senate dining room. Afterward, he posed for pictures with his lunch guests, then walked into the Capitol and kept his public silence.” POLITICO
THIS IS A FIRST — KYLE CHENEY and ANDREW DESIDERIO: “House Intel Republicans offer rare praise for Schiff”
THE CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT? … “Democrats weigh new impeachment rationale: Gathering evidence,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein: “Democrats know that impeachment is a losing proposition against President Donald Trump right now. But there’s another rationale for launching impeachment that has some Democrats reconsidering the idea — getting access to the sensitive documents and testimony that Trump’s team is withholding.
“Judges have repeatedly ruled that Congress has a greater claim to sensitive government documents and personal information when it can point to an ongoing legal matter, instead of just a congressional investigation or legislative debate. And impeachment would give lawmakers that legal matter — the process is essentially a court procedure run by Congress where the House brings charges and the Senate holds the trial.” POLITICO
MEANWHILE … NYT’S KEN VOGEL: “Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push for Inquiries That Could Help Trump”: “Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, is encouraging Ukraine to wade further into sensitive political issues in the United States, seeking to push the incoming government in Kiev to press ahead with investigations that he hopes will benefit Mr. Trump.
“Mr. Giuliani said he plans to travel to Kiev … in the coming days and wants to meet with the nation’s president-elect to urge him to pursue inquiries that allies of the White House contend could yield new information about two matters of intense interest to Mr. Trump.
“One is the origin of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The other is the involvement of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.” NYT
ONE WAY TO HANDLE TRUMP … ROY BLUNT’S TRUMP STRATEGY: “Bluntly speaking, senator says he long ago determined it was futile to try to change Trump,” by St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Chuck Raasch: “From ‘day one,’ Roy Blunt says, he determined it was futile to try to alter the way President Donald Trump operates. So Blunt decided that ‘you can get a whole lot done if you minimize wasting time on things you can’t do anything about.’ …
“‘I have been less concerned by that than many of my colleagues have,’ Blunt said. ‘One, I have never thought from day one that you are going to dramatically change him as a person or the way he communicated through the entire campaign. And I believe there haven’t been very many instances where I have given him advice on this topic — publicly, or any other way. And in spite of all of the complaints he has heard from all kinds of people … about how we wish he’d quit doing that, I think that is a waste of time.’” STL Post-Dispatch
TRACKING TRADE … THE PRESIDENT’S TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY … VP MIKE PENCE was in Minnesota on Thursday — the most visible surrogate so far selling the USMCA. Pence argued that Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson (D) should exert pressure to get the trade deal to the floor. The story
THE LATEST ON DISASTER FUNDING — “Senate Republicans propose more Puerto Rico aid in latest offer to Democrats,” by Sarah Ferris and John Bresnahan: “Senate Republicans on Thursday floated a new disaster aid proposal to Democrats to break the logjam over Puerto Rico, but it is unlikely to end the bitter, monthslong stalemate that has frustrated both parties, according to multiple aides.
“The Republicans’ latest funding offer would add billions of dollars to the Senate’s existing disaster bill, which would dole out badly needed cash to states ravaged by wildfires, hurricanes and severe flooding. It includes hundreds of millions more for Puerto Rico, but falls short of resolving the key sticking point, which has pitted Democrats against President Donald Trump since last year.
“‘It is a more realistic offer than last time, but that’s not saying much,’ one Democratic aide said.” POLITICO
2020 WATCH — “Stacey Abrams: 2020 presidential run possible,” by Jordyn Hermani: “Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader who lost the contentious race for governor race last year, has not ruled out the possibility of running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In an excerpt from a new interview for ‘Pod Save America,’ Abrams simply replied ‘yes’ when asked whether she would ever consider joining the already-crowded pool of candidates.” POLITICO
— BOSTON GLOBE’S TODD WALLACK, JESS BIDGOOD and LIZ GOODWIN: “Dazzled by a big field, home-state donors are slow to support Elizabeth Warren and others”
TRUMP’S FRIDAY — The president and first lady Melania Trump will participate in a celebration of military mothers at 4:15 p.m. in the East Room.
POLITICO MAGAZINE’S FRIDAY COVER: “Beto’s Long History of Failing Upward,” by Michael Kruse: “Celebrating defeat is unusual for a politician, and doing so makes O’Rourke notably different from the rest of the unwieldy field of Democrats running for president. … O’Rourke instead presents his loss to [Texas Sen. Ted] Cruz as a prominent selling point. … For O’Rourke, the phenomenon on display in that race—failure without negative effects, and with perhaps even some kind of personal boost—is a feature of his life and career. That biography is marked as much by meandering, missteps and moments of melancholic searching as by résumé-boosting victories and honors.” POLITICO Magazine
NORTH KOREA LATEST — “Trump and Kim battled subordinates ahead of spike in tensions,” by WaPo’s John Hudson and Josh Dawsey: “Trump has grown frustrated with public criticism of his administration’s tactics and complained privately that [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] makes for a tough and mercurial negotiating partner.
“‘It’s not like [I’m] dealing with the president of France,’ Trump said at a recent private gathering of supporters … The president told the group a graphically detailed story in which he said Kim had killed his uncle Jang Song Thaek and displayed his head for others to see, the person present said.
“The claim about Kim displaying Jang’s head is a curiosity. Though North Korean state-run media announced in 2013 that Jang had been executed, there are no public reports of a corpse exhibition and he is believed to have been killed by firing squad.” WaPo
— OH, OK … ABC’S TARA PALMERI: “Kim Jong Un wanted ‘famous’ U.S. basketball players as part of denuclearization deal: Sources”: “The request was made in writing, officials said, as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, and at one point the North Koreans insisted that it be included in the joint statement on denuclearization. The North Koreans also made a request for the exchange of orchestras between the two countries.” ABC
BACKSTORY … “Trump taps Shanahan to be next Pentagon chief,” by Connor O’Brien, David Brown and Eliana Johnson: “[Pat] Shanahan’s nomination did not come immediately — or easily … In fact, Shanahan traveled to the White House twice during the past two weeks thinking the president would nominate him, only to return to the Pentagon empty-handed, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. On one of those occasions, Trump instead reamed out Shanahan over the Pentagon’s progress in building barriers on the Southern border.” POLITICO … More on Shanahan’s confirmation fight
TOP-ED … ANITA HILL in the NYT: “Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence”
MARIIA BUTINA SPEAKS OUT — She told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly: “I love both countries, and I was building peace. This is the worst thing of my situation now and they’ve mentioned this in my last word in the court was that I am embarrassed that instead of creating peace, by not registering I created discord — that is what I’m going to carry for the whole my life. …
“‘I should have registered [as a foreign agent], which I didn’t. And this is why the whole this thing got started. But that wouldn’t be appropriate to say that this was all one grand giant plan. And I’m a part of some grand giant plan. There is no proof of that.” NPR
MEDIAWATCH … VANITY FAIR’S JOE POMPEO: “Leaked Drone-Wars Documents Lead to a Third Indictment of Apparent Intercept Source: Insiders say the arrest highlights the risks of publishing full documents. But ‘the whole leak-investigation process has been politicized under Trump.’” Vanity Fair
— SHOWTIME HAS RELEASED the trailer for “The Loudest Voice” — a seven-part series about Fox News and Roger Ailes. Russell Crowe stars as Ailes in the series, which is based on Gabe Sherman’s book. The series debuts June 30. The two-minute trailer
— Chelsea Manning has been released from jail:Gizmodo
— JACK SHAFER: “Trump’s Fake Fight Against Real News”
— NEW WSJ HIRES: John McCormick will be a national political reporter for The Wall Street Journal, based in the paper’s Chicago bureau. He previously was at Bloomberg. Tarini Parti is joining their national political team; she previously covered the White House for BuzzFeed and is a POLITICO alum. Catherine Lucey will now be a White House reporter for the paper. She previously was at the AP.
— Chuck Todd is receiving the Milwaukee Press Club Sacred Cat Award at tonight’s Gridiron Dinner in Milwaukee.
SUNDAY SO FAR …
“Face The Nation”: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) … Robert Gates … Hank Paulson
“This Week”: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Panel: Chris Christie, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Maggie Haberman and Seung Min Kim
“Fox News Sunday”: Panel: Josh Holmes, Jonathan Swan, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Juan Williams. Power Player: Howard Buffett
“State of the Union”: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Panel: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Jennifer Granholm, Rick Santorum and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
“Inside Politics”: Julie Pace, Michael Bender, Laura Barrón-López and Phil Mattingly
SPOTTED: John Kerry having lunch Thursday in Boston with the real boss — Bruce Springsteen — at the same time Trump was speaking about Kerry and the Logan Act. … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) eating a snack in the American Admirals Club at DCA. …
… Danny O’Connor, who lost the special election for OH-12, meeting with former Ohio gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray over coffee at Stauf’s in Columbus, Ohio. Pic … Sarah Huckabee Sanders having dinner at Bourbon at the Four Seasons.
SPOTTED Thursday night at the Navy Memorial theater for an MPAA reception and screening of “Trial by Fire,” starring Jack O’Connell and Laura Dern (trailer): Charles Rivkin, Allyn Stewart, Edward Zwick, Merrick Garland, Eric Fanning, Teresa Heinz Kerry, James Blanchard, Jonathan Capehart and Nick Schmit, Eleanor Clift, Adam Liptak, David Leiter, Tamera Luzzatto, Dan Glickman, Tom Quinn, Gary Knell, Lyndon Boozer, Elizabeth Drew, Eric Schmitt and Suzanne Kianpour.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Gabe Debenedetti, NY Mag national correspondent. A trend he thinks deserves more attention: “The global surge of climate activism among young people is getting more attention these days, but I still don’t think its scope is widely enough appreciated. The looming global coffee shortage is actually a serious (and obviously related) one, too.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio and Nick Collins … Craig Gordon, Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News (hat tip: Tammy) … Rick Santorum is 61 … Stan Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, is 74 … Mel Sembler, former RNC finance chairman and U.S. ambassador to Italy under Bush 43, is 89 (h/t Scott Kamins) … Finch Fulton, DOT’s deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy … Fara Klein, manager of government affairs at the American Forest & Paper Association, is 31 (h/t Samantha Dravis) … Douglas Farrar, public affairs director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is 36 (h/t Jen Psaki) … CNN’s Jeremy Herb … Chris Tuttle … former Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is 59 … Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is 6-0 … Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) is 71 … Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) is 53 … Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) is 59 … Elise Italiano … Chris Berman is 64 … former Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.) is 68 (h/t Gary Achterberg) …
… Andrew Card, chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, is 72 … Christine McDonough … Clarence Tong … Instagram’s Divya Kunapuli … Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center … Hannah Mooney … Ilona Viczian … Brad Bannon … Michael Turk … Mike Joyce … John Meroney (h/t Tim Burger) … Will Serio … Maggie Thomas, associate at Wiley Rein … Rachel Weisel … Lucy Jackson … BPC’s Abbey Brandon, who recently got engaged to Alec Richards — pics … WSJ’s Adam Janofsky … Carter Foxgrover … Mark Keam … Terry Holt … Kathleen O’Neill … Dave Kluesner … NY1’s Grace Rauh … Emily Dillard … Corbin Casteel … Lance Gould … Andrew Binns … Bryant Avondoglio … Jocelyn Austin Cholewinski … Chris Policano … David Bethel is 72 … Hernan Rozemberg … Erik Curren … Gannet Tseggai … Christopher Berg … Lisa Boyce … Amy Simon … Jackson Salovaara (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
- Trump suggests 'calling Bob Mueller' after Sanders win following Russia report
- Gowdy: ‘The Person Who Learned The Most About The Mueller Report Today Was Bob Mueller’
- Scarborough: Trump would arrest his media critics 'tomorrow' if he could
- Sam Nunberg Says Trump is an 'Idiot' and 'Carter Page Was Colluding With the Russians' As He Goes Off the Rails on Live TV
- Donald Trump Said Ivanka Is 'Like a Democrat' and Used Daughter in Dealmaking With Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer: Book
- Attorney General William Barr blasts Donald Trump for tweets that ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’
- Emails: Obama Officials Told Rod Rosenstein ‘We’re Proud of You’ After Mueller Special Counsel Appointment
- Donald Trump and William Barr Are the Worst Buddy-Cop Duo of All Time
- What We’re Learning From the Redacted Mueller Report
- Trump's Wednesday Afternoon Massacre
- 'It's like 2016 again - but for Bernie': Trump says NOBODY briefed him about Russia helping Sanders campaign and claims Schiff leaked the story because the Dems 'don't want the socialist to win'
- Trump praises Barr for "taking charge" of Roger Stone case after prosecutors quit
- The 9 Biggest Revelations From James Comey’s Testimony on Trump
- Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to curb tweeting
- Donald Trump responds to Attorney General William Barr’s whine about the President’s unhelpful tweeting
- ‘Fox & Friends’ Scrambles to Defend Trump From Their Own Legal Expert
- Fox News’ Judge Napolitano: We Now Know Trump ‘Committed a Felony’
- EXCLUSIVE: 'I wish I'd never set up that Trump Tower meeting!' Russian pop star at center of infamous 'Hillary dirt' offer, tells of relief at end of Mueller probe as he finally gets to perform U.S. tour he canceled fearing he would be indicted
- Mueller's abuses on view for the world to see
- MSNBC's Scarborough rips into 'high and mighty' Robert Mueller, says it is 'ridiculous' he has not testified
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